A submission page for your messages of protest, and photos of signs you think are great! Check here for submitted advice on sign-making, and sign etiquette.
Posts tagged woc
“Some women are called “sluts” just because they are Women of Colour, and now cops get to say “sluts” deserve to be raped? Cops, you should be stopping hate crime, not condoning two at the same time!”
Some of the issues regarding Slutwalk for Women of Colour revolve around the difficulty of bringing up how race and gender, or specifically how racism and sexism, intersect. It’s difficult because so far in the publicity of the movement, we’ve seen only women who are not afraid of the way that ‘slut’ has been used to represent them, which is largely a phenomenon of white and/or middle class women, or privileged women in general. WOC have been harshly affected by the reality of the way people have assigned sexual identities to them, in a way more violent than most white women or other privileged women have ever experienced.
Slutwalk is a forum for bringing up just that. Slutwalk isn’t just a walk, or even just a movement, it is a conversation - at least, that is the way I most like to see it used. The name “Slut”walk doesn’t really refer to a parade of a certain type of people, but rather, the word and the ideas we are discussing. Slutwalk is intended to point out exactly the violence WOC have experienced, as well as the violent realities of rape for all women, and men and children as well. Bringing up the historical contexts, and therefore the racist contexts, of the word “slut” is important to dismantling it as a word that invites, or invokes ideology of, violence.
Slutwalk is here because society uses “slut” as a way to pick and choose who is worthy of safety. People equate sluts with victims, and equate “being slutty” with knowingly risking violence, or knowingly being a target. People suggest that you must have responsibility enough not to look like a victim, therefore you are to blame for being raped or otherwise assaulted, because you must have just been slutty - “Anyone stupid enough to [____] deserves what they get” is the logic (wrongfully!) applied to these situations, and we get “Sluts deserve to be raped”.
Therefore, Sanguinetti in Toronto telling the self-defense students not to dress a certain way - “like sluts” - suggests that whether we do or don’t deserve rape is dependent on clothes. But also, applying “slut” based on skin colour suggests that whether we do or don’t deserve rape is dependent on race. This, I think, is of utmost importance to bring up, and this is why I would like to make WOC feel more welcome in the Slutwalk movement. The only ones who can speak best about the issues of how “slut” affects someone based on race are those people who have experienced it, so diverse involvement is critical.
It’s obvious many of you don’t feel welcomed right now because the movement doesn’t yet look like one you can join into as valuable members - vocal WOC, such as those involved in the Open Letter to Slutwalk, don’t want to embrace “slut” most often because so much time has already been spent trying to separate respective skin colours or cultures from historical notions of their being “too sexual”; it is felt there is no reason to embrace something continually used against women, especially WOC, but it appears as though Slutwalks are a movement of embracing that “too sexual” lifestyle or identity that is used so negatively. My thoughts are that we need to create space within the Slutwalk movement for WOC to address that, or at least, we need to make the existence of that space obvious, as it is unfortunately disguised or seems too small. Slutwalk is meant to be for everyone, and it has an open invitation, but the movement still looks like it has a “dress code” - part of that being the fault of media sensationalism, part of it being the way some of us in the Slutwalk movement discuss it.
I would like to make an open call to dismantle that “dress code”, and I would like that to start happening right here, as well as on the various hubs of Slutwalk organization and discussion. Spread your suggestions for sign ideas regarding how “slut” affects WOC. Ask the WOC in your life what they wish was being said in the Slutwalk movement, and use that to write a great slogan. These signs are the number one thing that shows up in photographs, they are a constant, and we can use them to change the tide of discourse, and use them to control our image. The media might still be photographing us based on the popular “hooker boots” image, but those signs will be pervasive.
I have a few of my own suggestions for signs that might be more accessible to those who want to represent race and intersectionality, and would love to hear all of yours. I would also appreciate your sharing of any discussions you have started online re: representation of WOC in the Slutwalks, or regarding the racist usage of the word “slut”. We are a movement of diversity and power, and we will put that diversity in our signs!